Odisha food panel finds rot in anganwadi centres in State

The Odisha State Food Commission has expressed displeasure over the state of affairs of different departments.

Published: 11th September 2016 07:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2016 07:05 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha State Food Commission has expressed displeasure over the state of affairs of different departments while carrying out developmental works under various welfare schemes.Chairperson and members of the Commission had recently toured and held different zonal meetings at three Revenue Divisional Commissioners (RDCs) level besides having interaction with the field functionaries of Panchayatiraj, Health and Family Welfare and Women and Child Development departments.   

The members found that the construction of anganwadi centres (AWCs) are pending at the level of Block Development Officers (BDOs) for years together. As a result, such centres are functioning in different dilapidated buildings or in home of anganwadi workers or helpers.

They suggested that the PRI members should ensure construction of toilets and provision of safe drinking water in AWCs with the funds received by the panchayats. The PRI members should also monitor the functioning of AWCs, quality of supplementary nutrition and health services provided to the beneficiaries. 

The Commission was surprised to find that there was no mechanism to taste the quality of cooked food at the centres running under the Special Nutrition Programme (SNP). While only one laboratory is available to check quality, there is a need for establishment of more laboratories to ensure quality of food.

Apart from prescribing region specific menu chart under SNP, the members suggested to go for digitisation of beneficiary list, development of mechanism to intimate attendance of beneficiaries on daily basis by anganwadi workers and relocation of AWCs from urban areas to rural areas as few beneficiaries are turning up at urban centres. While all AWCs should have own building with toilets and safe drinking water facilities, the central laboratory needs to be strengthened by posting more staff and providing modern equipment. The health of school going children should be checked twice a year under Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) rather than once in a year.

There is also a strong need to integrate the poor parents of children suffering from serious diseases to different Government schemes and more ANMs are required for conducting village health nutrition day (VHND) in every month. The Commission has convened a meeting on September 15 to have a detailed discussion with the directors of all three departments.

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